- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Free Press; 60840th edition (February 22, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1439153159
- ISBN-13: 978-1439153154
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,411 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion Paperback – MiniDV, February 22, 2011
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“Destined to become a classic of both urban reportage and contemporary spirituality.”
—"The Los Angeles Times
"Incandescent, always hope-filled and often hilarious. Boyle somehow maintains an exuberant voice that celebrates the strength, compassion and humanity of people often demonized. He simply highlights charity and goodness wherever they are found. Boyle intersperses his narratives about gang members and his work with them with theological and spiritual reflections from a variety of theologians, poets and other writers. By introducing book-buying, highly educated readers to people we may never otherwise encounter, Boyle aspires to "broaden the parameters of our kinship.'"--"The Christian Century"
"Father Boyle reminds us all that every single child and youth is a part of God's 'jurisdiction'--and when they know that we are seeing them as God does, they are capable of great things. Father Boyle is a national treasure."
--MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN, PRESIDENT, CHILDREN'S DEFENSE FUND
"Tattoos on the Heart is an astounding book and a remarkable testament. No one brings more triumph and tragedy to the street gang story than Greg Boyle. No one brings more conviction and compassion than Greg Boyle. And no one writes the gang story more beautifully."
--MALCOLM KLEIN, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
"Sometimes we are allowed to see in our own lifetimes what we were supposed to see in the life and ministry of Jesus. Read, and let your life be changed!"
--FATHER RICHARD ROHR, O.F.M., CENTER FOR ACTION AND CONTEMPLATION, ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO
"An astonishing book . . . about suffering and dignity, death and resurrection, one of my favorite books in years. It is lovely and tough and tender beyond my ability to describe and left me in tears of both sorrow and laughter."--ANNE LAMOTT, AUTHOR OF GRACE (EVENTUALLY)
"An extraordinary reflection of a life totally committed to reshaping and redirecting the lives of countless young gang members (from L.A.'s gang culture), Greg Boyle's Tattoos on the Heart proves one man with courage is a majority." --MARTIN SHEEN
"A spiritual masterpiece touching the innermost sanctum of the human soul. Boyle approaches each person as a child of God and fully deserving of love and compassion. His capacity to reach the heart of the most hardened, and to see the best in everyone, inspires. I laughed, wept, and underlined on virtually every page."
--KERRY KENNEDY, FOUNDER OF THE RFK CENTER FOR JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS
"One of the bravest, most humane, heartbreaking, brilliant, and hopeful stories I've read in ages. Father Greg, the Gandhi of the Gangs, fills Tattoos with unquenchable soul force and down-to-earth love." --JACK KORNFIELD, AUTHOR OF A PATH WITH HEART
"Destined to become a classic of both urban reportage and contemporary spirituality."
--"The Los Angeles Times
About the Author
Gregory Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, CA. Now in its 30th year, Homeboy traces its roots to when Boyle, a Jesuit priest with advanced degrees in English and theology, served as pastor of Dolores Mission Church, then the poorest Catholic parish in Los Angeles, which also had the highest concentration of gang activity in the city. Homeboy has become the largest gang-intervention, rehabilitation, and reentry program in the world, and employs and trains gang members and felons in a range of social enterprises, as well as provides critical services to thousands of men and women each year who walk through its doors seeking a better life. Father Boyle has received the California Peace Prize, the James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year Award, and the University of Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal. He was inducted into the California Hall of Fame and named a 2014 Champion of Change by the White House. He is also the author of the New York Times bestseller Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion.
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I came across the book when I saw it featured in a bookstore and decided to give it a try.
I had stopped reading for the past decade or two. It has been mostly Netflix and Kdrama.
I would start books and then never get past page 30.
This wasn't just a book you coudln't put down. It's a book that grabbed a hold of you and shook you to your core.
What a hero! What a man of God! What guts! What complete abandon!
No wonder he looked exhausted (when I saw him 20 years ago).
I was reminded of apostle Paul's paradoxical statement about his life and ministry 2 Cor 6
"We put no obstacle in anyone's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything."
Another reason why I feel such a deep sense of respect and admiration for Father G is that after my senior year in college, I went and worked in the inner city of Camden, New Jersey for 6 weeks and it was one of the toughest times of my life.
We worked with kids and teenagers in one of the most gang/crime/drug infested parts of the country.
I felt so overwhelmed and helpless. It was affecting me emotionally and physically.
Such a ministry is not done casually - it doesn't happen unless you give yourself completely to the community and put your life on the line.
And it's not something you do in your own strength and wisdom.
Father Greg is often on the news and he does get some publicity - but not enough. Compare what he does to the billions of dollars spent on the war against drugs, against gangs, against crime.
He is a one man war on gang/crime/drugs. And he's winning because his weapon is the love of Christ incarnated daily in his life.
Don't read this book if you are offended by colorful language, for G-dog tells it like it is. And he lets his gang members do the same. You will learn about the different gangs and their interactions, yet will know no names. G-dog doesn't give any individual gang the glory...he treats them all equally. As I finished this book, I knew I would have a hard time living among the gangs, but God has called us all to different parts of the body. G-dog gets involved in so many lives, from before birth as he tells of a young girl gang-raped and pregnant, to handling over 150 funerals of gang members, many of which he has known since childhood. Thank you, Father Boyle, for serving where God prepared you to serve.
The book is written from over 30 years of working among the gangs through Homeboy Industries. The stories abound with courage, faith and with laughter. You'll find yourself laughing out loud and wiping your eyes, either with amusement or hurt for a fellow human. The name of the book came from a gang-member..."G-dog,,,I'm gonna tattoo that on my heart." Reading this book left a tattoo on my heart also!